A Canadian college has a full-scale controversy on its hands.
The decision to remove a scale from Ottawa’s Carleton University gym so students won’t obsess over their weight has generated angry debate, the CBC reported Sunday.
The dispute began earlier this month when students noticed a sign had replaced the scale, saying it was removed “in keeping with current fitness and social trends,” the school newspaper the Charlatan noted.
“Many fitness centers are moving away from having scales in their facilities because they are not considered a good health marker,” a school spokesman told The Huffington Post on Monday. “We provided some educational information on various health measurements as we were concerned that the focus is on weight.”
Freshman Samar El Faki defended the move. “Scales are very triggering,” she said, per the Charlatan. “I think people are being insensitive because they simply don’t understand. They think eating disorders are a choice when they are actually a serious illness.”
The CBC noted a similar argument in a post it screen-captured on social media.
But many critics, using the hashtag #bringbackthescale, have lashed out at the move.
In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, Bruce Marshall, the school’s manager of health and wellness, encouraged those with fitness goals to use other standards to measure improvement.
“If you have strength goals, try not to keep track of your bodyweight but rather the weight that you are lifting in different exercises each week,” he said.
A school spokesman told HuffPost the matter isn’t closed: “We are listening to feedback and we will review further. One option we are considering is providing scales in both the women’s and men’s washrooms.”
The story has been updated to include comments from the university.